HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas says the Zika virus won’t affect her plans to pursue more gold in Rio de Janeiro.
“It’s the Olympics,” Douglas said Friday. “Mosquitoes? Like, whatever. I’m going. This is my shot. I don’t care about no stupid bugs.”
The 20-year-old Douglas and other Olympic hopefuls are in Hartford for the Secret U.S. Classic on Saturday. The meet is the final tune-up for the P&G Championships in St. Louis this month.
Aly Raisman, a three-time medal winner in London, says she may pay more attention to the issue if and when she makes the Olympic team. But until then, she’s concentrating on her routines and letting the medical professionals worry about how to protect the athletes from the virus.
Steve Penny, the president of USA Gymnastics says officials have been keeping an eye on the Zika advisories and information coming from the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee and will support any decisions the athletes make.
Three-time World all-around champion Simone Biles said she believes the risk is minimal, because the team will be be spending most of its time indoors, either in a hotel room in are car or at the arena. And though she doesn’t want a disease, she’s not overly concerned about the consequences of Zika.
“We’re so young, none of us are trying to get pregnant,” the 19-year-old said.
Carly Patterson, the 2004 Olympic all-around champion, tweeted Friday that she won’t be traveling to watch the Olympics in Rio, because she is trying to start a family.
“I had to make the decision to protect myself,” she wrote.